Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Panic de Jour

The Media's Crisis De Jour

The list of scourges hyped by the media as about to end the world as we know it continues to lengthen. During the 1950's, bomb and fallout shelters were "required" in order for us to survive nuclear armageddon. In 1968 Paul Ehrlich in his "The Population Bomb" prophesied that we would all be starving to death by 1979. In fact, by 1979 the threat became the onset of a new ice age. In the 1980's as the AIDS pandemic was touted as a serious threat to the populations of non needle using straight citizens we began to hear the hue and cry for the government to find a cure. Indeed, the cacophony from the "gay" community became so loud and demented as to accuse the Reagan administration of "genocide" for not dedicating the national treasury to research an AIDS cure. Recently the "bird flu" and deadly spinach scares have surfaced, not to mention the "flesh eating" bacteria.

One doomsday scenario however has really gained traction of late and that is "global warming" or to be more precise, anthropogenic climate change. Why has a hypothesis attracted the following of so many otherwise reputable scientists? Leonidas theorizes that the underlying motivation for the emergence of a so called "consensus" that climate change (which has been occurring since the earth's beginnings) is driven by human activity is that collectivist politicians see the hypothesis as an opportunity to augment their power. Politicians who control the treasuries of governments as well as NGOs have been fueling one side of the debate with copious amounts of grant cash. Indeed some politicians such as senators Snowe and Rockefeller have seen fit to threaten skeptics of the hypothesis and their supporters into silence. It is interesting to note that only one side in the debate engages in efforts to intimidate the other.

Recently our attention was called to this article published in the Independent in the UK: " Disappearing world: Global warming claims tropical island". The article assigns the disappearance if an inhabited island in the Ganges River delta to "global warming". For those unfamiliar with sedimentary formed islands in the worlds river deltas, they are known to form an disappear over relatively short periods of time. This process is invariably related to laying down and erosion of sediments. The independent article does not assert that sea levels have risen along the nearby coasts of India or Bangladesh nor indicate the time frame wherein the population of the former island was forced to relocate.

These are the kinds of publications that politicians are seizing on in order to ram through adoption of stringent controls on human economic activity. The winners: politicians and bureaucrats. The losers: mostly the populations of both the developed and developing world whose only hope of escaping grinding poverty is economic activity.

A good indication of how unsettled the science is with regard to this specific event is here as well as here.

We often fail to "understand that facts trump theories: and that a "preponderance of opinion," no matter how eloquent or ardent, cannot change the way the universe really works."

Sunday 7 Jan 2007 08:32 EST
UPDATE!!! For a timely exposition of the debate go HERE.


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